From the very outset, PSL Datatrack production control software has provided essential support towards the smooth running of Stellar Precision Components, a successful precision CNC turning and milling company.
Based in Bishops Stortford, the company focuses on the production of complex, high tolerance, high precision components in various batch sizes serving customers in the medical, aerospace and defence industries among others.
In early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, Stellar invested in an additional Citizen sliding headstock lathe to meet the production demand from current customers. This investment also enabled the company to respond to the UK Government's challenge to industry to manufacture vital ventilator equipment.
When the business was established in 2018 managing director Glenn Poleykett called upon his experience in subcontract precision engineering and made the decision to invest in PSL Datatrack. He knew other similar companies using the system, had used it previously himself and understood the advantages it could bring to a new company.
“I knew the challenging times we would have in front of us as a new business and to use a system which would bring all of our production data under control in one place with full traceability was a load off my mind,” Mr Poleykett comments.
Indeed, the main requirement was to record information relating to all areas of the company without having to start with spreadsheets as a recording method. This would ensure efficiency from the start – vital to get a small, tight-knit company up and running.
Stellar wanted to manage as much of the business as possible using PSL Datatrack but needed it to be affordable in the first instance. Initial investment covered core modules including Quotations, Purchasing, Works Orders, Deliveries (to customers and into stock) and Invoicing. Thanks to the modularity of the software, additional functionality could be added further down the line.
These have all brought significant administration, productivity and traceability benefits to the company. For traceability, materials are clearly labelled on arrival and every goods received transaction is recorded on the system along with scanned documentation such as supplier material certificates. According to Mr Poleykett, this makes the Goods Received module one of the most important in the system.
Goods Received also ensures a very quick method of recalling historic information about materials and suppliers in the event of any queries further down the line.
“The traceability that this affords has been really good,” Mr Poleykett says. “We have shown some potential new clients the way that we can book in materials and save the supplier certificate to the system for instant access. We can demonstrate that by using PSL Datatrack we are very organised and this has certainly helped us to win the work from those companies.”
Stellar Precision’s success to date has been largely based on the high levels of customer service provided, helping to ensure both the retention of existing customers and attraction of new business. The company is proactive from the initial quotation right through to final invoice, often offering lead-times of just days and meeting all deadlines. Component quality is also very important, from first off to last off inspection.
“We know that these two combined factors are exactly what our existing and potential customers require in a supplier,” Mr Poleykett continues.
In support of this, PSL Datatrack has also provided significant benefits through its reporting capabilities and has proven essential to the way the business is managed. It takes care of customer invoicing, helps to ensure on-time deliveries as well as providing financial reporting and company performance data.
Management has instant access to all key production-related information such as material certification, as well as visibility of how many deliveries have been made from a specific works order and how many components are left to produce.
As a user of PSL Datatrack beforehand and during the first few years of Stellar, Mr Poleykett firmly believes that the system is highly suitable for both new start-ups and established businesses: “It helps us to be extremely organised and successful in the way that we approach and win orders,” he concludes.
Thanks to his previous experience, Mr Poleykett did not need any initial training on PSL Datatrack but acknowledges that it is a very easy system for any organisation to learn to use, including adapting to new modules as and when they are added.